MANILA – San Juan City's Wattah Wattah Festival will push through Wednesday but without the traditional "basaan" or the dousing of water, in compliance with government measures against COVID-19, its mayor said.
In an Instagram post, Mayor Francis Zamora said the traditional dousing of water is prohibited during the festival to ensure physical distancing and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"Alinsunod na rin sa Executive Order No. 42, Series of 2020 na aking nilagdaan, pansamantalang ipinagbabawal po muna ang nakasanayan nating basaan para maiwasan ang panganib na dala ng hawaan dahil sa tubig at sa pagkukumpulan ng mga tao sa kalye tuwing nagbabasaan," he said.
Instead, the float of St. John the Baptist will be blessed at the City Hall at 8 a.m., followed by a parade where guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 will be observed.
A mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Parish at 6 p.m., with only 10 people allowed as per IATF measures.
Basbasan sa Makabagong San Juan – San Juan Fiesta 2020 schedule of activities. pic.twitter.com/kfTOTgrfdO
— Mayor Francis Zamora (@franciszamora30) June 22, 2020
June 24 marks the day of the annual Wattah! Wattah! Festival to celebrate the Feast of St. John the Baptist, San Juan City’s patron saint.
Devotees engage in “basaan” (wetting) by splashing water on everyone, following John the Baptist's example of baptizing people.